Many people are at a large risk of a phishing attack. In this scenario the person may receive an email that looks like it came from a legitimate source (e.g. their bank) and encourages them to click a link that presents them with their bank login page. The user then attempts to login… Except that site isn’t their banking site. It’s a mockup that looks like the real one. And they’ve now told their banking password to the attacker.
There is a temptation in computer security circles to aim for the perfect. After all, we know that if there is a hole then it will be found and will be exploited. So we tend to build (hopefully! ahem OpenSSL) secure products that will withstand attacks… and then fail at usability Let’s take a brief travel through… Unix naming services NIS In the long distant past (the 1980s), Sun Microsystems created a system called NIS (Network Information Services)1.
There’s an old comment; “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes”. This came from a pre-internet world. Today a lie can travel around the world in seconds. Personal annecdote Last year I broke the MBR on every hard disk on my home server. I was panicing. I really didn’t want to rebuild and restore from backup, and then re-rip all my DVDs; such a time sink!